Smart regulation

Neil Gunningham , Darren SINCLAIR

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


Gunningham et al. (1998) first advocated the concept of ‘smart regulation’ in a book of that title in 1998. Subsequently, the concept has been refined in various publications by Gunningham and Sinclair (1999a, 1999b, 2002). The term refers to a form of regulatory pluralism that embraces flexible, imaginative and innovative forms of social control. In doing so, it harnesses governments as well as business and third parties. For example, it encompasses self-regulation and co-regulation, using commercial interests and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) (such as peak bodies) as regulatory surrogates, together with improving the effectiveness and efficiency of more conventional forms of direct government regulation. The underlying rationale is that, in the majority of circumstances, the use of multiple rather than single policy instruments, and a broader range of regulatory actors, will produce better regulation. As such, it envisages the implementation of complementary combinations of instruments and participants tailored to meet the imperatives of specific environmental issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRegulatory Theory
Subtitle of host publicationFoundations and applications
EditorsPeter Drahos
Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
PublisherThe Australian National University
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781760461027
ISBN (Print)9781760461010
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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